Cuttack; Dec.9: In a major breakthrough Forest Department officials on Wednesday rescued 12 endangered softshell tortoises, all protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, from Kathajodi river mouth at 42 Mouja area in Cuttack.
According to sources, the forest officials seized the endangered tortoises while they were being sent to Kolkata.
However, the accused who was shipping the tortoises, is absconding.
The value of each softshell tortoise is Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000, the sources said.
Meanwhile, Forest officials have started investigation in the illegal trade and tried to nab the accused.